Life in the Raw

When we moved into the bungalow, on the first afternoon we were there, Ann called me into the kitchen with a “look at this!”. I expected to see a dead body in the kitchen, or a hole in the floor, or something equally drastic, but she was calling me to see a cow in the adjacent field looking at us over the hedge. The farm at the end of the road is dairy and has around 140 milking friesians, who spend 3 or 4 days a week in “our” field.

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This is the view from the kitchen window.

As we got used to our new neighbours and enjoyed watching them during the spring to autumn, it struck us that it would be good if we could drink the milk that they produce. Well, as of yesterday, we can.

Since Christmas, the farmer has been constructing a new “porch” on the side of one of his barns, facing the road and I guessed that he might have been setting up to sell produce directly. On Saturday, a flyer was posted through the door to say that they are now selling raw milk from a vending machine and so we bought some on the way back from walking Betsy yesterday morning.

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The milk is obviously whole and not skimmed and is therefore creamier than we are used to, but it does have a lovely fresh taste. This is hardly surprising, given that only 5 hours before this photo was taken, it was still inside a cow! It tastes very odd in tea as we are used to drinking milk from the other end of the rawness scale (Cravendale skimmed), but it is really nice just as a drink or on cereals. Will definitely be buying regularly.

Raw milk has far more vitamins and minerals that pasteurised, and retains its beneficial bacteria, but does come with a very small risk of catching some horrid disease, such as TB. This is highly unlikely and, in my opinion, a risk worth taking to buy produce that could not be more local.

I will enjoy a glass or two looking out of the window at our neighbours when the weather improves and they can come back into our field.

I like living here. It’s good for you.

A link to Mesothelioma.net

Part of the point of this blog was to allow anyone, anywhere to find it and hopefully take some use from it.

One such person who has come across it is a chap in the US, by the name of Virgil. Initially, I thought that his short email asking for details of my blog was a scam, but as it turns out he wants to share a site dedicated to a support site in the US for sufferers of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

They appear to to very good work. As Virgil wrote to me

“As a result of their website I am now being treated at the National Cancer Institute and the patient advocates have even provided me with financial assistance so I could afford a place to live during my cancer treatments. If I had not reached out to this website I would likely be homeless and more importantly in hospice waiting to die. These people gave me my only chance at survival.

I noticed you posted a cancer-related link on your website. Perhaps some of your website visitors could use the help of Mesothelioma.net. The website is filled with information on mesothelioma treatments and doctors, asbestos trust funds for victims, and a lot more. They also sponsor The American Cancer Society, the MD Cancer Center, and the Make a Wish Foundation.”

I am happy to share this link with all who read this blog and wish Virgil well in his treatment.